Lifting female workforce participation and closing the gap in earnings between women and men is a significant national productivity imperative. At an organisational level, employers increasingly recognise their future growth depends on their ability to maximise the full potential of the best female and male talent.
Dismantling the cultural and structural barriers that limit women’s ability to engage in employment and then progress to leadership roles is central to achieving gender equality. This endgame depends, in part, on employers establishing the strategies and initiatives that are known enablers of gender equality, and then tracking their impact.
This year, reporting to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency has yielded a world-leading dataset that paints the most comprehensive picture of gender equality in workplaces Australia has ever seen. Non-public sector employers with 100 or more employees report to the Agency under six gender equality indicators (GEIs), generating a standardised performance assessmen that enables comparisons across industries and organisation sizes.
By analysing this dataset, we are able to benchmark both the representation of women in the leadership pipeline and across occupational categories, and the pay gap that exists within industries, management levels and occupational categories. We can also better understand the practices Australian employers have in place to improve their gender equality performance.
Used to its full potential, this data will be a game-changer. A high-level overview of the data is outlined in this report with a more comprehensive dataset available online at www.wgea.gov.au via a powerful data visualisation tool. Critically, employers will have access to their own customised, confidential benchmark reports that map and track their performance against the comparison group they choose.
What gets measured gets managed. Business, policy-makers and the broader community now have the data to improve understanding of gender equality and put in place measures to address inequities including the longstanding under-representation of women in management and the low representation of men in traditional female-dominated roles and industries.